HomeLettersTime for house-cleaning

Time for house-cleaning

THE recent exposure of the extent of the divisions within the MDC leadership over differences in strategy and tactics has brought the party to a crossroads that is welcome to some of its well-wishers.

Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The MDC has been in the doldrums for the last two to three years, a period during which the “doves”, in support of working through the Zanu PF parliament and its partisan judicial system have appeared to hold sway over the “hawks”, in support of mobilising the people and international support towards a new political dispensation.

The failure of the “final push” dealt a telling blow to the hawks. But Rome was not built in a day.

Given the near-zero impact that the MDC legislators have had in influencing our continued economic free fall, Operation Murambatsvina, Posa and the other repressive laws that have ravaged the nation’s freedoms, just what useful “political space” is to be protected by participating in another election under the current conditions?

After the “trenches” of 2000, parliament has for some become a safe, comfortable and much valued perch from which to position oneself, assess local developments and react to any new initiatives.

MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai has been wise and shown characteristic courage in finally making a principled stand before the MDC became altogether irrelevant or, worse, a useful tool for the ruling regime to use in crippling organised political opposition.

This is not the time for making light of fundamental differences in the interests of unity – or is it disunity?

The next logical step after boycotting the senatorial election should be calls for the MDC as a party to withdraw from the parliament of 2005, and for the outlining of plans to regain the initiative lost after 2002.

Why not hold a national MDC convention to resolve the whole issue of leadership, guiding principles and strategies? If this risks a “split”, a split may be just what the party needs: the Zapu split of 1963 gave us a new political movement that rejuvenated opposition to Ian Smith’s regime. It is time for some house-cleaning.

B Mhlanga,


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